As I was writing this column I received the sad news that our class president, Jay Whitman, passed away at home Feb. 17 after a short battle with a little known cancer, neuroendocrine carcinoma. His wife, Chris Rand Whitman, and his daughter and son were with him. He will be greatly missed by all of us. * Margaret Lippincott Brezel and her sister, brother, and spouse went on a two-week river cruise on the Rhine and Mosel rivers in May. They visited interesting parts of six countries. They went to Floriade, a once-in-a-decade flower and plant extravaganza, saw tulips, etc., and celebrated Margaret’s 75th birthday. * Ed Goldberg took an extensive trip to Israel, Thailand, and Myanmar. He has spent a fair amount of time in Israel, where he is on the board of governors of the country’s leading institute of technology, which has recently had three Nobel laureates. He returned to Korat, Thailand, where he taught several years ago in a government school, and he also visited Myanmar, which shows the wear and tear of years of isolation. Ed looks forward to our next reunion. * Russ Longley’s typical day includes consulting for a Canadian aerospace company, working out, taking ballroom dance lessons for national competitions, piano/organ lessons, and an occasional round of golf. During 2011 he won top bronze student awards at St. Louis Star Ball and Heart of America Dancesport Championship in Kansas City, and this year he won 14 first-place awards at Nashville Starz Ball dancing Smooth American style. His goal is to learn/play a snappy Tango piece, record it, get up, fluff his tux tails, and dance with his instructor. * Lydia Katz Pease has been volunteering with the Lancaster County Master Gardeners for 10 years and recently has been working to increase the use of native plants to support bird populations and decrease the use of invasive plants. We really need to think about pollinators, fruit and grain production, and the environment! She encourages all of us to rip out some of our lawns and plant something native that will absorb the rains and help the environment. She has been amazed at how beautiful some of our native plants are, and they take less care once established. Just call your local master gardener or e-mail Lydia at Lydia@lydiapease.com. * Elaine (Healey ’62) and Paul Reichert and their youngest son and his wife are now looking for “the house” or land to build on in N.H. They planned a trip to New Zealand and Australia, but would be back to attend Elaine’s 50th reunion. * Gay Fawcett was in the south of France for the month of February and it was freezing. When she wrote she was with Georgia Johnson Manin at her nice apartment in Nice. * Bob and Mary Twiss Kopchains continue to enjoy life in S.C. Travel is a bit more limited these days, but they don’t give up easily, even though airlines are such a PAIN! They keep up by phone with Bill and Dottie Reynolds Gay as well as Sue Moulton Russell, who has permanently returned to her original home in Portsmouth, N.H. Sue recently related a coincidence: she and Rick Seavey grew up in the same town before attending Colby and have stayed in touch ever since. Rick has relocated to S.C. and attended a “Crèche Festival” at Mepkin Abbey, a Trappist monastery near Charleston. He was surprised that more than 20 of the crèches had been lent to the abbey for display by “Mary and Bob Kopchains.” He knew there aren’t many Kopchains in this world! Their collection is the result of many years of travel. They learned about Mepkin Abbey’s beautiful festival from a neighbor and were flattered that the abbey was interested in displaying some of theirs. They were also pleased to learn that, as a result, they made a connection with their past. * Keep the news coming!